Advanced Work Packaging podcasts

AWP Podcast: Frankie discusses AWP and issues affecting its adoption.

Listen to the leaders in AWP discuss the processes, the challenges, and the triumphs
of implementing Advanced Work Packaging.

Advanced Work Packaging Podcasts Series

Insight AWP Podcast Series

In this episode, Frankie discusses his experience, Insight AWP, and his thoughts on AWP adoption, .

Discussion Highlights

  • Frankie’s path to AWP and insight AWP
  • AWP and its increasing adoption
  • The struggle with alignment
  • Changes to company structures

Streaming Audio

Video Interview

This podcast features:

Jeff Samis - AWP Business Development

Jeff Samis

VP of Business Development

Full Profile

Ryan Bonnell

Marketing Director

Full Profile

Ryan Bonnell: Hi again. We’re here talking insights into AWP with Frankie Maclean and also we have Jeff with us. What’s your name and where are you living?

Francie Maclean: My name is Frankie Maclean. I’m originally from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, but I’ve been living in Edmonton, Alberta, since 2006.

Ryan Bonnell: And your family situation, kids?

Francie Maclean: Yeah. Married with three kids all under the age of seven. So pretty busy. Now.


Ryan Bonnell: Tell me. Tell me something unique about yourself.

Francie Maclean: Unique about myself. I am a pipefitter by trade, but before I was a pipefitter, I was actually an anthropologist. So I do have an undergraduate degree in anthropology.

Jeff Samis: I hear that’s critical for being, you know, an AWP facilitator.

Francie Maclean: Oh, yeah, absolutely.

Francie Maclean: Slightly, slightly, slightly unrelated. It did give me a reduced hours requirement for my PMP, though. So that was that was a bonus.

Jeff Samis: And we also know that Frankie, that you recently or you’re still in the mix of doing your MBA. I hear.

Francie Maclean: Yeah, I do my MBA through Athabasca University. I’m finished a phase one. I just restarted phase two a month ago actually. So hopefully in the next like maybe a year and a half and I’ll have that wrapped up as well.

Jeff Samis: So what do you do with Insight? What’s your role with us.

Francie Maclean: Right now I’m an AWP consultant. So more or less just walking into an organization and trying to get them off the ground with the AWP program, it’s not really specific to any any departments, it’s just AWP in general. So a lot of work with estimators, schedulers, construction, engineering, pretty much all all facets of AWP.

Jeff Samis: So you worked for us, you went away and then you came back. So something must be drawing you back to us. What do you like about working for us?

Francie Maclean: Oh, there’s a lot of a lot of things to do. Like the people I work with, they’re are fantastic. And you get a lot of a lot of leeway in terms of what you want to do and what you want to try. So if you do have any sort of ideas, you guys are always, always listening and willing to kind of let us let us run with something. If we do believe that it’s that it works.

Jeff Samis: So tell us about the state of AWP right now. What do you where do you think it is in the industry? And what do you think is going well? And what are you in the areas where you think there are some gaps that need to be filled?

Francie Maclean: I think it’s definitely picking up picking up more steam. It seemed like it was everyone wanted to do workface planning back in the kind of in around 2008, 2009, 2010. And then especially in Alberta, you kind of saw a lot of the discussion sort of sort of drop off. Right now it does seem to be picking up again where some of the the big guys up in the up in Fort McMurray and all that are really driving the AWP Initiative.

Francie Maclean: One thing I do see where we’re kind of struggling a bit is just kind of getting everyone aligned like, say, AWP. The main concept is aligning engineering, procurement and construction to the optimal path of construction. And sometimes it’s just difficult to kind of get everyone meshed together, even just like something as simple as using the same nomenclature, so we do have say like a master schedule. It’s really easy to kind of take the information from engineering and merge it with any sort of procurement and construction schedules. And it’s just hard getting everyone kind of early alignment and on the same page we’re getting better and that’s more or less applies to kind of the projects where you have separate E’s, separate P’s, and separate C’s. When you’re dealing with like one EPC, you tend to get a little more traction quicker.

Jeff Samis: Why do you think there’s been so much resistance to AWP?

Francie Maclean: I honestly think it’s people attempt to implement it on their own just through reading books and they have people that are inexperienced trying to implement it and they tend to get a bad taste in their mouth in terms of, “Oh yeah, we tried that ten years ago, but it didn’t work and it just caused a lot of confusion”, whereas it’s probably a single project controls, maybe not even a manager trying to push the AWP initiative when they actually require changes to all other departments on the sites. They don’t actually have the the power or the ability to make changes in these other departments. So they tend to just end up running two concurrent systems, whereas if it had been adopted at a higher level by people that actually knew how to implement it, you could actually make those changes before kind of executing, whereas again, they try, they try to implement an on a single project without actually changing any of the company’s structure. It’s like, say, AWP implementation requires like a changes to the base, the base structure of the of the organization.

Jeff Samis: So that makes it that makes it challenging when you’re dealing with, you know, you know, years of legacy memories around how we how we used to run project vis a vis how we’re asking them to do them today using AWP. So…

Francie Maclean: Oh yeah, yeah…

Jeff Samis: That’s a, that’s. A huge change management shift for….

Francie Maclean: A lot of people kind of mistake AWP for simply for workface planning the idea is oh yeah we we’ve been doing AWP for years because we generate packages whereas like say packages are a major components of the AWP process, but it’s not AWP in itself. It’s just a simple element of AWP.

Ryan Bonnell: That’s fantastic, Frankie. Thank you. Thank you. And thanks, Jeff. Thanks, Frankie. Until next time, we’re going to be talking to AWP. Thanks for just talking AWP with us. If you want to learn more about AWP, please visit our website at Insight Desk. AWP dot com that’s Insight AWP dot com. You can also follow us on LinkedIn where we post the latest in AWP and its many facets.